Editor's note

International Internet Magazine. Baltic States news & analytics Wednesday, 27.05.2020, 05:09

Croatia: Council’s Presidency in 2020

Eugene Eteris, BC International Editor, Copenhagen, 03.01.2020.Print version

From January 2020, less than seven years after its accession to the EU in 2013, Croatia assumes the rotating presidency of the Council of the EU for the first time. Under the Presidency’s motto “A strong Europe in a world of challenges”, Croatia has indicated four key priorities.

The presidency of the Council of the European Union (or just “the Council”) rotates among the EU member states every 6 months. During the 6-month period, the presidency chairs meetings at every level in the Council while helping to ensure the continuity of the European integration process in the Council of Ministers.


Member states holding the presidency work together closely in groups of three, called “trios” or trilogies; the system which was introduced by the Lisbon Treaty in 2009. As a rule, the trio sets long-term goals and prepares a common agenda determining the topics and major issues that will be addressed by the Council over 18-month period; the present program was adopted in November 2018.


More in: http://data.consilium.europa.eu/doc/document/ST-14518-2018-INIT/en/pdf

 

On the basis of this programme, each of the three countries - the current trio is made up of the presidencies of the Romania, Finland and Croatia – is preparing its own more detailed 6-month program.


Reference to: https://www.consilium.europa.eu/en/council-eu/presidency-council-eu/

  

The rotating Presidency- two main tasks:


First, it is chairing meetings of the different Council of Ministers’ configurations - presently ten (with the exception of the Foreign Affairs Council), and the Council's preparatory bodies, which include permanent committees such as the Permanent Representatives Committee (Coreper), and working parties and committees dealing with the EU specific spheres.

 

Second, the presidency represents the Council in relations with the other EU institutions, particularly with the Commission and the European Parliament. In this role, the Presidency is to try and reach agreement on legislative files through trilogies, informal negotiation meetings and Conciliation Committee meetings.


Priorities of the previous Finish Presidency

The priorities of Finland's presidency have been driven by its motto: "Sustainable Europe - Sustainable Future". 


The presidency programme was focused on four main priorities: - strengthen common values and the rule of law; - making the EU more competitive and socially inclusive; - strengthening the EU's position as a global leader in climate action; and - protecting the security of the EU citizens.  


Finland has been the first presidency to integrate the new priorities of the Strategic Agenda 2019-2024 into the Council's work.

 

Croatia’s preparations and Presidency’s priorities

Croatian Ambassador to the EU, Josip Buljević introduced Croatian Presidency priorities already in December 2019. Together with Irena Andrassy, Permanent Representative of Croatia to the EU they formulated and delivered Croatia’s four main priorities and activities up to the end of June 2020.  


The following four priorities will streamline Croatia’s Presidency:

- A strong Europe in a world of challenges: The EU’ economy and labour market face new global challenges and demographic changes. In such circumstances, further deepening of the single market, encouraging the digitalisation, investment in research and innovation, greater accessibility of high-quality and lifelong learning and developing new skills adjusted to jobs of the future are guarantees for the Union’s competitiveness. In the context of this priority, the Presidency wants to address, not only economic development within the EU, but also the climate and demographic challenges. 

 

- A Europe that develops. Balanced regional development becomes a vital priority, including: reduction of differences among the member states; fostering economic and social cohesion and convergence; strengthening the Economic and Monetary Union and the international role of the euro; further development of the Capital Markets Union; using the potentials of macro-regional cooperation, and ensuring “unanimous’ products’ quality in all member states.

Among other aspects in this priority, there are negotiations on the next Multiannual Financial Framework, 2021-2027 that will consume considerable time and energy, given that a consensus on the future MFF still needs to be reached.

 

- A Europe that connects: as soon as progress in the EU in great extend depends on a “networking economy” and making full use of its infrastructural and human potential, under this priority, the Croatian Presidency will seek to improve the transport, energy, digital infrastructure and interconnection, as well as people-to-people contacts through education, culture and sports.

As the new Commission President, Ursula von der Leyen underlined, Croatian rotating Presidency “must demonstrate to Western Balkans that we share the same continent, the same history, the same culture and that we will share the same destiny too”.


Source: https://ec.europa.eu/commission/presscorner/detail/en/SPEECH_19_6408 

 

- A Europe that protects; like its predecessors, the Croatian Presidency also aims to make progress in the area of migration and asylum policy, and reinforce cooperation with third countries in the framework of “a Europe that protects”. This also includes becoming more effective in the fight against terrorism and terrorist financing, and reinforcing the EU’s capabilities with respect to hybrid threats, cybersecurity and disinformation.


In the field of freedom and democracy’s protection, the Presidency aims at: a) returning to a full and efficient Schengen Area; b) personal data protection and protection of privacy; c) comprehensive approach to the rule of law, and d) strengthening of the EU democratic principles and fundamental values.

 

- An influential Europe’s priority, “An influential Europe”, which seeks to give the EU a stronger voice externally.


In this regard, there will be a special focus on the Western Balkans and the enlargement process, with the EU-Western Balkans Summit in Zagreb in May 2020 as one of the key Presidency events.


References to Croatian Presidency’s priorities in: https://eu2020.hr/Uploads/EUPDev/files/priorities-of-the-croatian-presidency.pdf?utm_source

 

“The Baltic Course Magazine” wishes Croatian Presidency in the Council success in implementing abovementioned priorities and would like to render all possible media support in fulfilling the priority goals.

 

 





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